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IMS is the way forward, but it's not a cure-all, says Mike Quigley, COO at Alcatel, which spewed product and customer news today

Quigley: IMS Won't Cure All

Ray Le Maistre
10/10/2006
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PARIS -- Broadband World Forum Europe -- The adoption of next-generation networks based on IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) is the way forward for the telecom industry, but it isn't a cure-all for carriers, Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA)'s chief operating officer (COO) Mike Quigley noted during a keynote address here in Paris today.

The separation of the control and services planes is a significant step, he said, "but it's not going to solve all the problems. IMS is not necessarily going to make things any simpler. The simplification that comes with deploying a single network infrastructure is being offset partly by some greater complexity" that comes with IMS, noted Quigley.

His warning follows Monday's full-blooded commitment to IMS by Orange (NYSE: FTE) delivered in the same auditorium at the CNIT center in La Defense, Paris's business district. (See FT: IMS Is the Future.)

It also comes as Alcatel announces that it has added TISPAN capabilities to its IMS platform. That means the vendor is claiming to have the ability to help fixed-line carriers migrate to an IMS-based architecture. (See Alcatel Adds Tispan to IMS and Tispan: IMS Plus.)

That's not all Alcatel announced today. The company spewed press releases this morning, including some new models in its IP router range. (See Alcatel Adds to IP Portfolio.)

First, it unveiled a bigger version of its 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS). The new 12-slot model has a maximum switching capacity of 400 Gbit/s, twice the capacity of the original model that was launched in June 2004 and which has proved popular with major carriers. (See Alcatel Pushes Ethernet-Over-MPLS , Alcatel Router Revenues Surge, and Alcatel 7450 Passes Test.)

Alcatel also launched a smaller, four-slot 9-Gbit/s version of its 7710 service router, which was unveiled earlier this year. (See Alcatel Unveils New Router.)

The vendor bagged some new "IP transformation" deals, including an €80 million ($100 million) triple play access deal with Italian fixed and mobile carrier Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA . Alcatel is supplying IPTV capabilities from its partner Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) as well as its 7302 IP DSLAM, 7450 and 7750 IP routers, 5020 softswitch and 7515 media gateways, and various optical products and OSS products. (See Wind, Telefónica Pick Alcatel.)

It also has a wide-ranging deal with Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) for its Latin American operations, and is supplying German research network VIOLA (vertically integrated optical test bed for large applications) with its 1850 Transport Service Switch. (See VIOLA Uses Alcatel Switch and Alcatel Unveils 'Universal' Metro Switch.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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